Planning Appeal – Week 2

Last week the evidence of the Borough Council was completed on day 3.
Week 2 started with the evidence of the East & West Horsley Parish council’s transport witness who presented evidence on the Local Road Network, the sustainability of the site in terms of public transport provision, cycling etc. The expert witness (with 50 years experience) was put under some pressure by the Appellant’s QC who at times struggled with basic mathematics. The day concluded with the beginning of evidence from the Horsleys’ expert planning witness.
Wednesday 27th – the hearing will start at 1000

Planning Appeal – Day 1

An interesting day….
At 1804 on Monday night WAG,together with other rule 6 parties received an additional 161 pages of evidence from the Appellant.
Today, at least 100 members of the public and representatives of the press heard opening statements from the Appellant, GBC and the rule 6 parties who are WAG/Ockham Parish Council; East & West Horsley Parish Councils; Cobham Heritage and Conservation Trust; Ripley Parish Council; Mr & Mrs Paton and Highways England. Statements were also made by Sir Paul Beresford MP and Revd Hugh Grear, (the Rector of All Saints’ Ockham).
At the beginning of the afternoon session, Richard Max, made a statement on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Richard Harwood QC, representing WAG/OPC invited the Inspector to rule on whether the Inquiry should continue due to the extremely late submission of a significant volume of evidence.
It was agreed that the Air Quality experts would convene on 20th Sept to ascertain whether the new evidence has a significant impact on the timetable.
The hearing will continue at 1100 tomorrow when the Inspector is expected to rule on whether the Inquiry can continue and if so what evidence will be considered

Draft Inquiry timetable – Note start time 20 September now 1100

Draft Programme
Land at Wisley Airfield, Hatch Lane, Ockham
Public Inquiry opening on 19 September 2017

Week 1 w/c 19 September (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook)
Tuesday 19 Sep Opening submissions by Appellant, Borough Council and Rule 6(6) parties
Start evidence of Borough Council
Wednesday 20 Sep Complete evidence of Borough Council
Start evidence of Wisley Action Group/ Ockham Parish Council
Thursday 21 Sep Complete evidence of Wisley Action Group/ Ockham Parish Council NB until 1300 only
Friday 22 Sep Complete evidence of Wisley Action Group/ Ockham Parish Council

Week 2 w/c 26 September (Council Chamber)
Tue 26 Sep Evidence of East & West Horsley and Ripley Parish Councils
Wednesday 27 Sep Complete evidence of East & West Horsley and Ripley Parish Councils
Thursday 28 Sep Evidence of Cobham C&HT; Mr & Mrs Paton;
Friday 29 Sep Evidence of Highways England

Week 3 w/c 3 October (Council Chamber)

Tuesday 3 Oct Residents opposed to the development
Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited
Wednesday 4 Oct Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited
Thursday 5 Oct Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited
Friday 6 Oct Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited

Week 4 w/c 10 October (Council Chamber)

Tuesday 10 Oct Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited
Wednesday 11 Oct Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited
Thursday 12 Oct Evidence of Wisley Property Investments Limited
Friday 13 Oct Complete evidence of WIPL
Conditions and Agreements (may be on Day 1 week 5)

Week 5: w/c 17 October (Council Chamber)

Tuesday 17 Oct Site visits, accompanied/ unaccompanied
Wednesday 18 Oct Site visits, accompanied/ unaccompanied
Thursday 19 Oct Closing submissions, Rule 6(6) parties and then Borough Council
Friday 20 Oct Closing submissions, Wisley Property Investments Limited
Draft Programme is based on time estimates and is subject to change

Former Wisley Airfield plans a White Elephant?

Over £100 million of Developer infrastructure costs would make it economically unsound

Infrastructure development costs topping £100 million would turn the proposed ‘new town’ development at ‘Three Farms Meadows’, the former Wisley airfield, into a White Elephant – economically unsound and impossible to sell-on to other developers.

The warning came today from Ockham-based campaigners WAG – the Wisley Action Group – which points to the rising infrastructure costs highlighted in Guildford Borough Council’s [GBC] Infrastructure Schedule [Appendix C].

The underlying problem, according to WAG, is that neither GBC nor anyone else has any idea of the financial integrity of the Cayman Islands-based Wisley Property Investments Ltd [WPIL] and whether or not they would be in a position to absorb the rapidly rising costs.

“All the indications are that the project would be economically unsound and while WPIL has not denied that it would probably sell it on, it seems unlikely that another developer would consider buying a White Elephant of this magnitude”, a WAG spokesperson said today.

“A cursory glance at developer costs relating to the Wisley project, detailed in GBC’s Infrastructure Schedule presented on the GBC website, indicates that they are rising substantially. And whoever finally funded the scheme would be paying heavily for M25, Junction 10 improvements between 2019 and 2022 – with potentially zero income in this preliminary period.”

WAG also points out that GBC’s Appendix C schedule does not yet include the high cost of sewerage construction.

“It is clear, therefore, that rising costs and the fact that house building would not be permitted to begin until the required infrastructure was in place, would mean that the developer – whoever it might be – would be faced with a period of at least five years with zero income but substantial borrowing costs,” says WAG.

“And that means no homes would be belt within the first five year period – excluding it from the Draft Local Plan homes delivery schedule and putting the Local Plan in doubt.”

Local Plan deadline looming – Write before 24th July at 1200

The consultation on the Guildford Borough Council proposed Submission Plan under Regulation 19 draws to a close on Monday.  Please write to to object to the inclusion of Three Farms Meadows as an allocated site for over 2,000 homes.

Points to include:

  • the evidence base is unsound, out of date and inconsistent.  Particularly the SHMA, (2017 Guildford Update), the ELNA, the SHAR, the Green Belt and Countryside Study, and the Air Quality review.
  • there is no comprehensive list of the evidence base making it impossible to know what the Council relies upon.
  • it is littered with basic errors, including simple mathematical errors.
  • the drafting is weak and unenforceable.
  • there is no justification for including TFM (site A35) due to sustainability, air quality, impact on the TBHSPA, green belt, infrastructure cost.

if you would like more comprehensive guidance please email


East Horsley Meeting – 12th April 2017

WAG gave an update to a packed East Horsley Village Hall audience on the forthcoming appeal hearing which is due to start on September 19th 2017 and run for 20 days. To see an abridged version of the presentation use this link 12 Apr 17 Horsley open meeting. The meeting was attended by Sir Paul Beresford MP and local borough and county councillors and candidates.

The appeal will be determined by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government currently Sajid Javid.

Guildford Local Plan

Here’s the latest information on the Guildford Local Plan proposed timetable.

20th April – GBC Special meeting of the Borough, Economy and Infrastructure Executive Advisory Board to discuss the proposed submission plan – then:

Further targeted public consultation in June-July 2017only asking for comments about the proposed changes to the plan.

  • Submission to the planning inspectorate for Examination (Regulation 22) – December 2017
  • Pre-examination meeting – February 2018
  • Examination in public – hearings (Regulation 24) – April 2018
  • Anticipated adoption (Regulation 26) – December 2018
  • Update Policies Map – December 2018

Wisley Properties appeal refusal of planning permission

WIPL have registered an appeal against the refusal by Guildford Borough Council for 2068 homes at Three Farms Meadows. Wisley Action Group and Ockham Parish Council have been granted Rule 6 status which allows us to cross-examine the applicant’s submissions.
The appeal is scheduled to take place in September 2017 in Guildford and is likely to last for almost three weeks